Five Ways a 3D Printer will Save Time and Money in Your Product Development Process

Article by Stratasys Ltd. updated April 29, 2020


Is your current product development process costing you more time and money than it should? Do you want to reduce friction in the stakeholder approval process?

The Solution

Bring higher quality modeling in-house at your team’s elbow, and straight into the product development process. Using traditional production methods is costing your product development teams time and money. Quality model shops have a long queue and large price tag, traditional modeling by hand is laborious and time consuming, and outsourcing comes with a laundry list of communication headaches, IP theft concerns, and extra costs.

Make communication easier, improve design quality, and reduce time to market. Read on to find out how bringing full-colour, multi-material modeling tools in house with a Stratasys J55 3D printer can save money, time, and significantly improve your product design process.

1. Cut modeling time and cost

Outsourcing to model shops or modeling and painting by hand may be the norm, but waiting days or weeks for models to arrive or spending hours carving them from foam wastes valuable time – something you can’t get more of.

Bringing full colour, multi-material 3D printing in-house means faster models created more efficiently. With minimal material waste, little to no post-processing, and enhanced communication, you can spare designers modeling time by 50% and create models at 15% of the cost of outsourcing.

Stratasys J55 3D printer in the office

Stratasys J55 3D printer in the office

2. Accelerate design iterations

With a strict time frame until a product goes to market, companies that outsource or hand-make models often must skip iterating designs, lean heavily on renders, or are limited to one or two physical models. This can lead to design flaws later, disrupting the process and costing your company more time and money.

Bringing full colour 3D printing in house lets teams create five times the number of prototypes they would normally be able to make, meaning detailed design models can happen sooner, design issues can be ironed out earlier in the process, and decisions and design freeze can happen faster.

3D printed design iterations

3D printed design iterations

3. Improve product design quality

While outsourcing can be a useful tool, model quality can be unreliable due to communication issues and wait times. Outsourcing also limits the number of prototypes that are feasible within time and budget, preventing designers from experimenting with new ideas.

Incorporating 3D printing into the design process allows the team to ensure model quality and perfect ideas in-house. 3D printing also lets designers make concept models, create CMF models sooner and high fidelity models more often, even when models require full color or simulated material surface finish.

Improve product design quality

Improve product design quality

4. Reduce risk of design exposure

Some companies assume that, because of outsourcing, IP theft is an inevitable cost of doing business. But the impact of IP theft is so much more than just the initial design exposure – it can result in long-term hits to your company’s market value. About 90% of people in the consumer space outsource overseas.The result? One in five designs are stolen.

When you keep production in-house, you drastically reduce the risk of design exposure. Keep intellectual property within your company and ensure that your products stand out once they hit the market.

Product Development Process

Colour 3D printed mock-ups

5. Get stakeholder approval faster

Creating quality prototypes in just a few hours lets you put those prototypes in the hands of stakeholders and reviewers. With a real, physical model – not just a 2D render – reviewers can make faster decisions about designs, whether they’re assessing the colour or the ergonomics of a product.

Putting multiple iterations in the decision maker’s hands lets them know that the team listens and responds to feedback in a meaningful way. This not only ensures that stakeholders are fully behind the project, it makes the process more efficient, giving you a better product that gets to market weeks or months earlier.

Stakeholder approval

Stakeholder approval

The new J55 3D printer from Stratasys

If your business is losing time and money because of outsourcing headaches, laborious modeling processes and IP theft, the Stratasys J55 3D printer is an effective tool to make the most of your design process. Our multi-colour, multi-material office solution can help your team make product development faster and more cost-effective – with higher quality results.

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Stratasys Ltd.

For over 30 years Stratasys have been pioneering 3D Printing technology, solving problems, questioning, inventing and reinventing. Continually asking, “How can we help our customers turn a great idea into a great success?”